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Motes Replaces Davis As Celebration Judge

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows announced that Jennifer Davis has been released from the judging panel for the 70th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration®.  Her release comes on the heels of a violation of the National Horse Show Commission rule that does now allow horses to be shown in front of a judge that has shown that horse within the previous 30 days.

Davis judged the 2008 Celebration Spring Fun Show and was slated to join Rollie Beard, Nathan Clark, Jamie Hankins, and Tommy Howell on the Celebration judging panel.

Davis will be replaced by industry veteran Mack Motes, who has judged The Celebration® on two previous occasions, in 1987 and 2005.

“This is really unfortunate,” said Meadows, who also serves as show manager for the world championship event. “Jennifer did a great job at the Fun Show and I was really looking forward to having her on our panel this year.  However, these type of rules are there for very valid reasons and must be followed.”

Davis’ violation came over the July 4th weekend when she was a catch-rider on Jacqueline Bouvier at the Money Tree Classic (July 3) and Tony Rice Center Show (July 4) and then judged that same horse at the International Grand Championships in Murfreesboro on July 28, a span of 24 days.  Davis has since been removed from the International judging panel.

“We feel certain that the rule infraction was inadvertent,” said Meadows.  “Nonetheless, it was still a rule violation.  I think Jennifer is an outstanding young judge and this incident in no way reflects on her ability to tie horses in the ring.  We’re fortunate to have someone of Mack’s experience and, and popular with industry officials to fill the breach.”

The 70th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® runs August 20-30 at the historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville.  For more information on this year’s show, call (931) 684-5915 or go the Celebration’s official website at

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